Friday, August 13, 2010

Can a Believer follow occult / magic ?

Can a Believer (of God/ Allah and His Scriptures) simultaneously also be a member of an occult group or be amongst those who follow magic ? This is a serious question in today's world where a lot of things are misunderstood or ingrained into immature heads.
Of course, Dan Brown, got me interested in this subject when I watched 'Angels and Demons'. Checking back on history threw light on many untold, unheard secrets, which exist even today. This again is highlighted more clearly in his book, 'The Lost Symbol'. Lot of this magic and occult practices go back to the time of King Solomon and have their source in the 'Temple of Solomon', as it is known. King Solomon was a prophet of God. And was a true believer, but many people during his times took to magic, sorcery and put some blame on King Solomon too.
Even in today's society, the cult (or cults) exist. Many unsuspectingly become members without even knowing the 'secret' of these cults.
An important question here is - Can a Believer also be a member of such cult groups ?
The answer lies in Surah Al Baqarah (Ayat 102) :
And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, "We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic]." And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah . And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.
The detailed translation (tafsir) of above verse/ ayat as below (reference - :
And they follow (wa’ttaba‘ū is a supplement to nabadha, ‘[it] cast away’) what the devils used to relate, during the time of, Solomon’s kingdom, in the way of sorcery: it is said that they [the devils] buried these [books of sorcery] underneath his throne when his kingdom was taken from him; it is also said that they used to listen stealthily and add fabrications to what they heard, and then pass it on to the priests, who would compile it in books; this would be disseminated and rumours spread that the jinn had knowledge of the Unseen. Solomon gathered these books and buried them. When he died, the devils showed people where these books were, and the latter brought them out and found that they contained sorcery, and said, ‘Your kingdom was only thanks to what is in here’; they then took to learning them and rejected the Scriptures of their prophets. In order to demonstrate Solomon’s innocence and in repudiation of the Jews when they said, ‘Look at this Muhammad, he mentions Solomon as one of the prophets, when he was only a sorcerer’, God, exalted, says: Solomon disbelieved not, that is, he did not work magic because he disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching the people sorcery (this sentence is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the person governing the verb kafarū); and, teaching them, that which was revealed to the two angels, that is, the sorcery that they were inspired to [perform] (al-malakayn, ‘the two angels’: a variant reading has al-malikayn, ‘the two kings’) who were, in Babylon — a town in lower Iraq — Hārūt and Mārūt (here the names are standing in for ‘the two angels’, or an explication of the latter). Ibn ‘Abbās said, ‘They were two sorcerers who used to teach [people] magic’; it is also said that they were two angels that had been sent to teach [sorcery] to people as a trial from God. They taught not any man, without them saying, by way of counsel, ‘We are but a temptation, a trial from God for people, so that He may test them when they are taught it: whoever learns it is a disbeliever, but whoever renounces it, he is a believer; do not disbelieve’, by learning it; if this person refused and insisted on learning it, they would teach him.
Allah couldn't have been more clearer than this. So let us all be shepherds.
Who is a shepherd according to Hadeeth?
“Each one of you is a shepherd. And each of you will be asked about your flock. A ruler also is a shepherd and he will be asked about his flock. And every man is a shepherd to his family. And every woman is the custodian of her husband’s house and his children. Thus each one of you is a shepherd and each one will be asked about his flock.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

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